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If you are looking for workplace fairness Employment Lawyers in Minneapolis, then trust us. Our lawyer knows the courtroom and is eager to get your case in front of a jury. For an effective consultation, contact us today at 612.349.2721 or visit https://madialaw.com/
First of all – if you’ve just been terminated or laid off from your job and you’re looking for answers – we’re sorry that you’re going through this experience. In our country, we often identify with our jobs as part of who we are: losing a job can feel like losing part of your identity. Especially if you’ve given years of your life to a company, built relationships and friendships with your coworkers, and enjoy the work, losing a job can be devastating. On top of that, you’ve likely got more immediate concerns about how you’re going to pay the bills after losing your job and continue to support yourself and your family. We’re truly and sincerely sorry that you’re dealing with this. And I hope this article can help provide some answers.
The most pressing thing many people need to do is make sure that they continue to have income during this period. Minnesota unemployment insurance is a great first step. In Minnesota, the standard to receive unemployment compensation is lenient toward employees – the State generally wants to make sure that people have a safety net during periods of unemployment.
Unless you were terminated for “misconduct,” you’re probably entitled to unemployment compensation. Misconduct does not include: substandard performance, failure to meet performance expectations, excessive tardiness, or other things like that – if you were terminated for substandard performance or failure to meet performance expectations, you’re still entitled to unemployment payments. Instead, “misconduct” usually means things like theft, assault, or some other kind of “serious violation” of the behavior an employer can reasonably expect.
So – the bottom line is that you’re probably eligible for unemployment benefits. You can apply for those benefits at this link. Learn more about Minnesota unemployment benefits here.
2. Don’t sign a severance agreement and release until you talk to a Minnesota employment lawyer.
Many employers will present employees that they fire or lay off with a “separation agreement” or “severance agreement.” Usually, the agreement will provide some amount of money as a severance payment – often as little as 2 – 4 weeks’ worth of wages – in exchange for the employee releasing the employer from any and all kinds of legal claims, including: wrongful termination, sexual harassment, discrimination, failure to accommodate, unpaid wages, and unpaid overtime.
Please don’t sign such an agreement until you’ve gotten a free consultation with an employment lawyer in Minnesota. It makes sense to have a professional evaluate your situation – for free – to determine if you have any potential claims against your employer. If you have such claims, then the amount of your severance payment can be negotiated much higher than your employer initially offered.
But you don’t know if you have any employment claims unless you talk to an employment lawyer. So please, don’t sign away your rights without talking to a lawyer first.
Your employer probably gave you the reasons it says justified your termination. Some common reasons that Minnesota employers give are: failure to meet performance expectations; substandard performance; and decrease in business.
Do you agree with the reasons provided by your employer? That is: do you think that your employer is telling the truth as to why it fired you? If yes, fine. If not, sit down and think about what you believe the real reasons are that your employer terminated you – no matter what reasons your employer is saying.
• Do you believe that your race, age, gender, disability, or sexual orientation was a factor in your termination? If yes, why do you believe that? This could be the basis of a wrongful termination or discrimination claim under Title VII or the Minnesota Human Rights Act.
• Did you ever make a complaint about discrimination or harassment (including sexual harassment) in the workplace? If yes, when? Who did you make the complaint to? Who was it about? Do you believe that played a role in your termination? If yes, why do you believe that? This could form the basis of a wrongful termination or workplace retaliation claim under Title VII or the Minnesota Human Rights Act.
• Did you ever make a report of unlawful activity at work? Did you say that you believed the company or a supervisor or another employee was breaking the law? Did you think any of the company’s practices were unlawful? Who did you make the report to? When? Do you believe that played a role in your termination? Why do you think that? This could form the basis for a wrongful termination claim under the Minnesota Whistle blower Act.
• Were you ever sexually harassed at work? By whom? When?
• Did you work overtime? Were you paid time and a half for all overtime that you worked? Were you paid for all of your hours worked? Did you get meal and rest breaks? You may have claims under the Fair Labor Standards Act, Minnesota Fair Labor Standards Act, or Minnesota Payment of Wages Act.
Write down your thoughts to whichever of these questions you answered “yes” to or think are relevant. Your notes will help a Minneapolis employment lawyer analyze your claims during a free consultation.
Minnesota law requires your employer to give you a copy of your personnel file upon written request by you. You should immediately request the file – in writing – after you termination so that you can review it and so that a Minnesota employment lawyer can review it. Here’s a sample written request that you can cut and paste (and fill in the relevant fields, like “date” and “address”) into an email or letter that you’ll send to your Human Resources department:
To: Human Resources, Attention [NAME][YOUR EMPLOYER’S COMPANY NAME][COMPANY ADDRESS]
From: [YOUR NAME and ADDRESS]
Regarding: Request for Personnel File
Pursuant to Minn. Stat. 181.961, I request that you send me a complete and accurate copy of my personnel file. Please send the file to:[YOUR ADDRESS].
5. Make a written request for the reason for your termination within 15 days of your termination.
Minnesota law also mandates that employers provide you the reason for your termination – in writing – if you make a written request for it within 15 days of your termination. This is important because it locks the employer into its story and makes it very difficult for them to change later when your employment lawyer proves their reason was false. Request this so that your employment lawyer can look at it during your free consultation. Here’s a sample written request that you can cut and paste (and fill in the relevant fields, like “date” and “address”) into an email or letter that you send to your Human Resources department or supervisor:
To: Human Resources, Attention [NAME]
[YOUR EMPLOYER’S COMPANY NAME]
From: [YOUR NAME and ADDRESS]
Regarding: Request for Reason for Termination
Pursuant to Minn. Stat. 181.933, I request that you provide me the reason for my termination. Please send it to:
Make sure to save a copy of your email or letter request for your records.
No matter how you feel right now, please remember that you’re an amazing person who has a special gift to contribute to this world. Some of the greatest achievements and success stories belong to people who were fired by employers too dense to realize their gifts, including: Steve Jobs (of Apple Computers), Oprah Winfrey (Oprah!), JK Rowling (Harry Potter books), Walt Disney, and Thomas Edison. You’re in great company. Maybe this termination will serve you by allowing to pursue your passions and build something wonderful beyond your wildest dreams.
Don’t let this get you down. One book you should think about reading is “Awaken the Giant Within”, by Tony Robbins.
Also, remember that you have rights. A host of federal and state laws protect you as an employee. Please take the steps above and schedule a free consultation with a Minnesota employment lawyer.
Author Bio:J. AshwinMadia of Madia Law LLC wrote this article. He’s a Minneapolis employment lawyer who prides himself on taking cases to trial and beating giants. Call him at 612.349.2723 or email him at firstname.lastname@example.org if you’d like to schedule a free consultation.
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